WILMINGTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins began their five-day developmental camp at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington on Wednesday.
The camp, now in it’s seventh year, features some of Boston’s top prospects, from last year’s first-round pick, goaltender Malcolm Subban, to this year’s second-round selection Linus Arnesson, and gives them a chance to see “the expectations that the Boston Bruins have for each one of them and the culture of the organization,” according to assistant GM Don Sweeney.
Here are a few observations from Day 1 of the camp:
— Sweeney talked today about what this camp can do for these young prospects and how important it is to get better from year to year, or even from the end of this camp to September when training camp opens.
“This isn’t about earning a spot on any team today; it’s about what’s in front of you and your own development trajectory,” said Sweeney.
Raw Audio — Don Sweeney At B’s Camp:
Sweeney also cited pros like Milan Lucic and Adam McQuaid as examples of players that have started their journey at this Developmental program and have gone on to become Bruins on the NHL level.
— Defenseman Linus Arnesson, Boston’s first selection in this year’s draft, is here with his new team. He is a stay-at-home, physical defenseman, but Sweeney joked that they had Arnesson jump in and play forward at times too — mixing it up a bit.
Arnesson On Camp, Being Drafted By Bruins:
–North Reading’s Ryan Fitzgerald is one of the local stories here, after being drafted by the B’s in the fourth round of this year’s draft. The 5-9, 170 pound forward is headed to Boston College in the fall, and his father, Tom, is the Assistant GM for Pittsburgh who played for the Bruins.
Fitzgerald says he has learned a ton from his father, but plays a different style. From first impressions, he looks like a lot of the great players that have come through BC, such as Brian Gionta, Nathan Gerbe, and Johnny Gaudreau. He’s not overly big, but highly-skilled.
— Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (the B’s third-round pick in 2012) is here for the second straight year. He says his dream would be to one day skate for the Bruins and give a nod and wink to his Dad — who works for the Garden bull crew — in the Zamboni corner!
He also said he’s given Fitzgerald grief about wearing a BC shirt in the weight room of the Bruins facility.
— I spoke with goalie prospect Malcolm Subban, whose brother, P.K., just won the Norris Trophy as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Malcolm said it’s tough living with his Dad, a Canadiens fan, and a brother playing who plays for them. He doesn’t mind though, and he’s already sick of the questions about it.
But, he does love the rivalry itself, so that’s OK in my book.
Sweeney added that Subban will begin his pro career this year, and will play in the AHL. Last year for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League, Subban went 29-11-4 with a 2.14 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.
“I think he experienced the pressure this year, and that’s going to continue to go up,” said Sweeney.
Subban On Development, Being A Bruin:
The 19-year-old, who became a goalie just a few years ago, said he will be working out all summer to further prepare his body to handle the rigors of being a pro netminder.
“I feel like I’m still young and still have a lot to learn. I can still improve in the gym and off the ice, which will go a long way for me mentally,” said Subban. “That’s what I’m working towards right now.”
– Camp is back in session at 11 a.m. Thursday, and is open to the public.